An adaptation of Stephen King’s novella of the same name, the Johnny Depp starrer Secret Window is an average thriller in a predictable sequence of events. While the acting of Depp with his very eccentricities drives the story forward and actually makes you watch the whole film, there are certainly a few plot holes that might give you clues to the end.
Secret Window follows the life of a successful author Mort Rainey (Johnny Depp) who after having ups and downs in his professional career has suddenly pushed himself into depression after discovering that his wife Amy (Maria Bello) is having an affair.
As he is trying to cope with his personal life, staying in a remote cabin in the middle of the woods, and unsuccessfully trying to write something new and avoiding the divorce papers that Amy keeps sending, a stranger bumps into his house and accuses him of stealing a story that he had written.
The stranger with a black hat named Shooter (John Turturro) gives Mort a manuscript of the story named “Sowing Season” which he alleges Mort of copying and publishing with a different name “Secret Window” and with a different ending. Mort dismisses Shooter’s accusation and in their following meeting, Mort asks Shooter when he had actually written the story to which Shooter replies seven years ago in 1997.
Mort then says that he wrote his story in 1994 which was published in 1995 in a magazine. Shooter gives him 3 days to prove his words and warns him not to inform the cops. The same night Mort finds his dog dead with a screwdriver on his head. Fearing the worst, he hires a private investigator and also informed the sheriff.
What happens later is key to the storyline and so does the vision of the makers. The only reason I said it is predictable is that soon after the first half an hour of the film, I get some kind of feeling that similar-themed films have been made before (I may be wrong). Nevertheless, writer-director David Koepp has successfully zoomed in on the character with a terrific performance by Johnny Depp. After watching the film you would be hardly able to visualize any other actor in place of Depp.
Starring: Johnny Depp, John Turturro, Maria Bello, Charles S. Dutton, Len Cariou
Directed by: David Koepp
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Released year: 2004